Charity donations to honor late Issaquah girl surpass $1 million
August 12, 2011
By Warren Kagarise
UPDATED — 9:25 a.m. Aug. 12, 2011
Charity donations in honor of Rachel Beckwith, a 9-year-old Issaquah girl fatally injured in a pileup last month, surpassed the $1 million mark Friday, as the cause received another round of national attention.
Nicholas Kristof, a columnist for The New York Times, highlighted Rachel’s mission to raise funds for Charity:Water, a New York-based nonprofit organization spearheading water projects in developing nations.
Donations surged to more than $900,000 after Kristof’s column appeared Thursday and continued upward.
Rachel turned 9 in June and, in lieu of birthday gifts, asked friends and family members to donate to Charity:Water. The girl set a $300 goal, but came up $80 short.
How to help
Rachel Beckwith asked people to donate to Charity:Water as a birthday gift. Now, people can donate as a tribute to the late 9-year-girl. Donate at the organization’s website, www.charitywater.org/rachel.
“In the midst of this grim summer, my faith in humanity has been restored by the saga of Rachel Beckwith,” Kristof wrote. “She could teach my generation a great deal about maturity and unselfishness — even though she’s just 9 years old, or was when she died on July 23.”
In the days after a July 20 crash along Interstate 90 in Bellevue, leaders at her church, EastLake Community Church, asked Charity:Water to reactivate her donation website.
Rachel’s mother, Samantha Paul, plans to travel to Africa on the one-year anniversary of her daughter’s death to see Charity:Water in action. The organization has completed 4,000 projects to provide clean water to more than 1.7 million people in 19 countries.
“Rachel Beckwith, R.I.P., and may our generation learn from yours,” Kristof wrote.
Since Rachel succumbed to injuries sustained in the accident, donations to Charity:Water started to pour in, and the flow increased to a deluge as local and national news outlets covered the story.